Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Posted February 3, 2014 by Stormy in Books / 18 Comments

Alienated

by Melissa Landers

Alienated

Expected Publishing Date: February 4, 2014
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
Purchase on Amazon:Alienated
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Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

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Alienated was quite the unusual book. The entire book is like reading page after page of mood whiplash. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if the book knew it was trying to be funny or serious. Cara, the main character, has a pretty off-beat sense of humor and takes things in stride, which makes you think this book is just going to be a humorous look at the ultimate culture shock: Alien meets human and they fall in love, navigating their differences and celebrating their similarities.

And for quite a bit of Alienated, that WAS the story line. Then, however, serious things would happen. And we’re not talking “serious” like break-ups and friendships and family relationships(all of which are truly serious, but a bit more microscopic in nature). We’re talking about things like the fate of the human race.

And while I did REALLY enjoy the plot of Alienated, this sort of back-and-forth mood whiplash made it incredibly hard for me to get invested in the story for quite a while. Once I finally did, I thought it was one of the most original novels I’ve ever read. I loved Cara’s voice. Even though the book is told in third person, Cara’s humor and personality shine through brilliantly. The effect that the world has on Aelyx is subtle but traceable.

The characters in Alienated are all so spot-on. I can’t say I love them all, but I did love reading about them! The chemistry between Cara and Aelyx was a slow-burn, and I loved it. Even though there were some things at the end that I wasn’t as big of a fan of, I do think it’s a story that will entertain and appeal to most readers.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the fact that Cara wrote a blog about hosting the quite-foreign exchange student. It was a great way to get to know Cara AND I thought it was the perfect way for this book to establish world-building– serious at times but also quirky and different. Much of what we learn about the L’Ehirs is through Cara’s blog. Some of it’s important to the story, and some of it not so much, but it all works to establish a world that feels real and plausible.

 I love the way the alien world is navigated. How the L’Ehirs are just similar enough to resonate, but different enough to be interesting. Take something like the names in the books–they’re unusual, but they’re not so different you can’t pronounce of remember them. And that level of detail to the world and the story was what really drew me in and kept me reading.

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 Overall, Alienated was a quirky book that alternated from being humorous and fun and romantic to being about serious topics and the potential real-life consequences of certain decisions. The back-and-forth between these two states did lessen my enjoyment a little, but not much. I really enjoyed the book and would read it again/recommend it/read the sequel! 4/5 cupcakes. 

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4 Stars

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18 responses to “Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

  1. The blog sounds like it’d be really cool to read! I don’t think I’ve read too many books where there are excerpts from a fictional blog…
    The whole back and forth between really serious and really fun sounds strange though. You’d think that it’d be sort of a gradual shift between the two rather than alternating.

    • stormydawnc

      It was a really fun addition to the book!
      Hmm. At times it was a gradual shift, but it was still a bit out of nowhere. Like, it kind of made sense, but it also kind of interrupted the flow of the story for me.

  2. I’m still torn on this because, you know, aliens. But I’m glad you enjoyed it!! It seems like an interesting one, for sure, and something that I haven’t seen before!

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, the alien exchange thing was a little difficult to get used to at first. I couldn’t decide if it was just right or too weird for me, but I came around!

  3. I can imagine that it’s kind of weird to read if it’s both serious and funny. But I think for this book I’ll like it, because as much as I love fluffy books, I love it when there’s also a bit more serious bits. The romance sounds great, slow burn romances are the best!

    • stormydawnc

      Yeah, it was a bit strange at times, even though I really liked it overall! I just wasn’t expecting it to get SO serious towards the end.

  4. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers commenting on how much fun this one was, so I think if given the chance, I’ll give it a shot when I’m in the mood for a lighter read.

    The mood whiplash you refer to makes me a little nervous, but I think I’ll be ok with it, now that it’s expected!

    • stormydawnc

      I think if you know going end to it that the book gets more serious, it will still be enjoyable! The beginning was really fun.

  5. I think we both felt pretty much the same way about this book. I preferred the earlier parts of the book – when Cara and Aelyx are learnign about each other, and the culture shock, than the BIG EVENTS later on. And I think I know what you’re talking about at the end of the book that you weren’t a fan of.

    • stormydawnc

      Yup! I understand the addition of more of the BIG EVENTS, but the beginning was definitely more intriguing to me. I just like the whole culture shock & exchange student exploration.

  6. This sounds like a potentially fun read. I will have to get it from the library at some point. I especially like the fact that one of character’s has a blog. 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      It’s been a few months since I actually read this one, but from what I remember the fun & humor was pretty consistent throughout, until maybe the last 20%. There was always a serious undertone, but the end grew more serious and pulled back on some of the humor a bit.

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